May 6, 1999

Mr. Lyle D. Jaffe
Dockets Management
FDA/DHHS
12420 Parklawn Drive, Room 1-23
Rockville, MD 20857

Re: Docket 98P-0203/CP
Forced Molting of Layer Hens

Dear Mr. Jaffe:

Recently I became aware of the practice known in the agricultural/animal husbandry industry as “forced molting.” According to the information I received and the further research I conducted on my own, this procedure or practice is performed by as much as 75% of the poultry (egg producing) farmers.

This agricultural industry already places layer hens on an abnormal and unnatural production schedule and in uncomfortably small and often unsanitary environments but this practice of forced molting is nothing short of torture and unimaginably cruel. In addition, the information I have read on the subject suggests that such a practice increasing the risks of egg contamination and illness for the consumer.

Please be advised that I send this letter to indicate my shock and disgust that such a procedure is not flat out illegal and is deemed permission and appropriate by the government agencies responsible for watching over the welfare of these animals. If it were not, certainly 75% of farmers would not be using this method. Further, let this stand as another citizen’s support/vote in favor of a ban on the forced molting of layer hens.

Thank you for your time and diligence in recording and reporting the responses of citizens like me who are appalled to learn that such practices are tolerated. I guess if more people looked into the sources of what they put in their mouths and then took the time to write letters sharing their feelings and opinions on these sources, this practice would ALREADY be illegal.

Regards,

Leigh-Anne Dennison


May 6, 1999

Dr. Ron DeHaven,
Acting Deputy Administrator
USDA-APHIS Animal Care
4700 River Road, Unit 84
Riverdale, MD 20737

Re: Forced Molting of Layer Hens

Dear Dr. DeHaven:

I wrote you some time ago regarding a publicized incident involving Ringling Brothers circus and the death of a baby elephant. Your response was genuine and prompt and I was pleased to learn that the USDA-APHIS did take action regarding Ringling Brothers’ negligence. Your letter encouraged me to write again to share my opinions with your department on issues of importance to me.

An issue has come to my attention which I feel merits writing again. Recently I became aware of the practice known in the agricultural/animal husbandry industry as “forced molting.” According to the information I received and the further research I conducted on my own, this procedure or practice is performed by as much as 75% of the poultry (egg producing) farmers.

This agricultural industry already places layer hens on an abnormal and unnatural production schedule and in uncomfortably small and often unsanitary environments but this practice of forced molting is nothing short of torture and unimaginably cruel. In addition, the information I have read on the subject suggests that such a practice increasing the risks of egg contamination and illness for the consumer.

I am writing to you Dr. DeHaven, to share with you my shock and disgust that such a procedure is not flat out illegal and is deemed permission and appropriate. If it were not, certainly 75% of farmers would not be using this method. Further, let me encourage you to work for a ban on the forced molting of layer hens.

As always, I thank you for your time and for working to protect the welfare of animals who do not have a voice--who cannot write letters on their own behalf to expose suffering and cruel treatment. I guess if more people looked into the sources of what they put in their mouths and then took the time to write letters sharing their feelings and opinions on these sources, this practice would ALREADY be illegal. I hope you will work to end this needless and greed-driven suffering as I will work to educate people about the “incredible edible egg.”

Regards,

Leigh-Anne Dennison

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